Pledge to Participate @ Forum

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A community's story is incomplete without dialogue. In order to create an online space for community conversations, the San Tan Historical Society is a charter member of the San Tan Issues Forum constructed with the help of E-Democracy, a leader in online community building. To be a charter member of the San Tan Issues Forum and its historic Centennial launch, contact us at, or got to e-democracy.org for more info.

 

Simply put, a Local Issues Forum is an online public commons (or town hall meeting), where any citizen, journalist, or elected official can

post an idea

ask a question

make a public announcement

connect with one another

monitor public opinion

ask for public input

and where journalists can look for story ideas or identify sources for articles.

 

The goal of a Local Issues Forum is to give everyone a greater voice in local decisions and encourage more citizen participation in local public policy making. It also provides a forum for decision-makers to receive immediate feedback from the community on issues that must be decided or voted on.

One of the most important features of a Local Issues Forum is that it is citizen driven. Anyone can introduce a topic, concern or idea for discussion as long as it relates to an issue that impacts the quality of life in the local community. A Local Issues Forum empowers individual citizens to bring their ideas, suggestions and concerns to the forefront of public attention.

 

Why Should You Participate In A Local Issues Forum?

A dynamic community is one in which citizens’ interact and work together in a variety of constructive ways. Unfortunately, we all lead busy lives and it is not always convenient to attend a local meeting or interact with your local elected official. A Local Issues Forum provides an alternative means for you to contribute to the civic health of your community in a flexible manner. Here are some reasons why you might want to participate:

 

Top 5 Reasons, Why Someone Should Participate

Keep up with community happenings

Network with other local citizens

Ask questions – get useful information

Share your opinion on important local issues

Connect with elected officials and city staff

 

Top 5 Reasons, Why A Community Activist Should Participate

Place to post announcements about meetings & events

Network with other community activists

Keep your local issue in front of the community

Keep your issue in front of the press

Keep up with community news missed by the media

 

Top 5 Reasons, Why A Journalist Should Participate

Story ideas, don’t be scooped by your competition

Background info

Place to find and evaluate new sources

Keep in touch with entire city/community

Place to post links to relevant stories you have written

 

Top 5 Reasons, Why An Elected Official Should Participate

Fear of being left out of important discussions

A great place to float trial balloons

Instant citizen feedback

Early warning system for “hot” issues

Dispel rumors before they do damage

 

Top 5 Reasons, Why A Community Needs a Local Issues Forum

Alternative to other online forums, which often lack accountability and impact

Media accountability

Build civic capacity among citizens

Anytime, anywhere – brings in citizens who are otherwise excluded from the process due to time or space constraints

Public space for competition of ideas. Citizens have opportunity to experience competing demands for public attention/resources